Spanish summer holidays 'running out'
27 May 2016 08:02
A crowded Spanish beach in Benidorm
British tourists are being warned they may struggle to get the Spanish or Portuguese summer holiday of their choice unless they act now.
The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) is urging UK travellers to book as soon as possible after reporting a surge in demand in Western Mediterranean hotspots.
The travel body says that demand has been fuelled by people who normally go to Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt being put off after terror attacks there.
Abta's survey of 1,700 UK holidaymakers finds that many have already heeded its warning.
Only around one in three (35%) are still to book their intended summer holiday.
Bulgaria, Croatia and other Eastern European destinations may be ideal for Britons spurning North Africa and not wishing to join the Iberian Peninsula's crowds, says Abta.
Better safe than sorry
Booking early is not the only thing tourists can do to avoid holiday disappointments.
Taking out trusted travel insurance can guard against things that could make a break memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Cancelled or abandoned trips, delayed flights, lost baggage and stolen possessions may all be covered under such policies.
Western Mediterranean holidays more popular
The Western Mediterranean has always been a magnet for British holidaymakers with its sun-kissed beaches.
But this year has seen a further hike in interest with Abta reporting the following rise in bookings:
• Portugal (29% up)
• Spain (26%)
• Italy (12%)
• Malta (5%)
• Cyprus (5%)
Overall, the exodus to Western Med destinations is up by over 25%, leaving vacancies scarce.
Why Brits are leaving it late
Abta has found the following reasons why some Britons have not yet booked their summer holidays:
• family sickness and other personal circumstances (22%)
• their finances (22%)
• lack of time (20%)
• leaving it late out of force of habit (18%)
• overwork (16%)
What the expert says
Chief executive of Abta, Mark Tanzer, says that UK sun-seekers wishing to land a Western Mediterranean break should act now.
He says they may have to show flexibility because leaving it so late means they might not always get the hotspot of their choice.